What Is a Goji Berry?

The goji berry is also called the wolfberry. It is a bright orange-red berry that comes from a shrub that’s native to China. In Asia, goji berries have been eaten for generations in the hopes of living longer. Over time, people have used goji berries to try and treat many common health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, fever, and age-related eye problems. Goji berries are eaten raw, cooked, or dried (like raisins) and are used in herbal teas, juices, wines and medicines.


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The Goji fruit is composed of four polysaccharides and is rich in 21 trace minerals, including zinc, calcium, selenium, geranium and phosphorous. Pure Goji fruit also has the most abundant source of beta carotene on earth, even more than carrots, according to Dr. Lindsay Duncan, naturopathic doctor and nutrition expert. Goji fruit is also rich in antioxidants and is gaining popularity because of its disease-prevention and body-fortifying qualities.

  • Anti-aging Effects Goji juice in its pure form may help to stimulate the release of human growth hormone, or HGH, which is released from the pituitary gland. According to Duncan, HGH has numerous health benefits, including improved memory; accelerated healing; a restored libido; and healthier skin, hair and nails, which can lead to an overall more youthful appearance. Goji juice is also packed with antioxidants, which help the body rid itself of free radicals, which Duncan explains are a constant threat to the ten trillion cells in your body required for optimal functioning. According to ExtremeHealthUSA.com, the Goji fruit has the ability to raise antioxidant levels in the blood by 10 to 25 percent.
  • Supports Organ Function Used by the Chinese for more than 3,000 years, Goji juice has been referred to by this culture as a kidney super tonic, promoting optimal kidney health and function by removing toxins and free radicals, and is also valued for its benefits to the heart. Goji fruit contains cyperone, a class of chemical compounds that can help to reduce inflammation in the body and improves the cellular structure of the smooth muscle inblood vessels, which improves heart function, reduces blood pressure and helps to maintain the strength and function of the coronary arteries.
  • Aids in Insulin Response Goji fruit contains 18 amino acids, including the eight essential amino acids needed to live. The Goji fruit also contains 13 percent more protein than wheat in its natural, pure form according to ExtremeHealthUSA.com. This added dose of protein to the diet can help to control the body’s response to insulin, especially if drunk before a meal, which can aid in optimal body composition and the reduction of excess body fat.
  • Highest Rated ORAC Food The oxygen radical absorbency scale, or ORAC, is a measure of a food’s antioxidant capacity to absorb free radicals in the body. Goji fruit scored the highest ORAC value, according to the ORAC Chart of Fruits, Vegetables and Essential Oils. According to this chart, the Goji fruit has 500 times more vitamin C than oranges or any other comparable fruit. High antioxidant values such as keep the body’s immune system stimulated and healthy, and because of the unique polysaccharide profile this fruit demonstrates, it allows this fruit to effectively control and balance all classes of immune cells in the body, according to Dr. Duncan.

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  •  Nutrition Information
  •  Antioxidants
  • Cancer Prevention
  •  Other Possible Health Benefits


Step 1 Drink goji juice plain. Substitute it for the other types of juice you typically consume at mealtime. Or try mixing it with your favorite juice to create a new flavor.

Step 2 Make a smoothie with goji juice. If you like a smoothie as a meal alternative when dieting, try making it with a small amount of goji juice and water rather than milk or any other liquid you normally use. This will add flavor to the smoothie but keep calorie intake moderate. The flavor of goji juice pairs well with mangoes, berries or bananas.

Step 3 Use goji juice in dressings or marinades. Many are made with orange juice or other fruit juices, but using goji juice creates a new taste for your favorite dishes. Mixing things up like this prevents getting bored from eating the same diet foods and increases your chances of successfully losing weight.

Step 4 Watch your goji juice intake. Read the label for the brand you buy and make sure you are only drinking one serving at a time. Drinking more than that will increase your calorie intake and may make it more difficult to drop unwanted pounds.

Step 5 Combine goji juice with foods from all the food groups. Use the guidelines on the USDA’s Food Guide Pyramid to help you create a well-balanced diet. This will include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein, low-fat dairy and healthy fats. You cannot get all the nutrients you need from goji juice, so drink it with other healthy foods to cover your nutrient needs while keeping calorie intake low enough to be conducive of healthy weight loss.

Step 6 Exercise at least 30 minutes per day. Part of any good weight-loss program is adequate amounts of physical activity. Talk with your doctor before beginning any exercise routine. Choose activities you enjoy so that you are more likely to stick with them. Combine a healthy amount of exercise with goji juice and other healthy foods to lose weight by keeping calorie intake low and calorie burn high.

Do Goji Berries Have Side Effects?

There may be some possible herb-drug interactions with goji berries. If you takewarfarin  (a blood thinner), you may want to avoid goji berries. Goji berries may also interact with  diabetes and blood pressure drugs.When eaten in moderation, goji berries appear to be safe. Before adding goji berries or supplements to your diet, discuss your concerns with your health care provider.